Sunday, January 20, 2008

Question of the Week - Happiness

Happiness and the Three-legged Dog

This week, there’s no question of the week, but just some thoughts. I usually walk every other day, it helps me stay in shape and keep ki energy flowing. The past three days, I’ve been walking at the beach. For two of those last three days, I came across a three-legged dog.

The first time, it was about sunset, and I wandered upon a woman with a three-legged Black Lab. The woman was about early-40s, wearing sunglasses and playing fetch with her friend. She would throw a scruffy tennis ball about twenty feet out into the crisp, cool water. And I could have sworn the Black Lab had the grandest smile! He would just go out into the water, find the fuzzy yellow grape, and happily come back. And whenever the woman threw the ball, the Black Lab was off and running. It could not have been a better day.

I asked the owner what happened to the Lab. She said her friend saved her life, taking the brunt of a Grizzly bear attack, while the pair were hiking in the mountains. The dog sustained injuries, losing its rear leg. The owner gained a deeper connection, to her own humanity, via her friend's sacrifice.

And when I saw the pair, the dog was so happy! It wasn’t depressed or sad. It wasn’t frustrated or angry. It was happy, just to be alive. To the dog, it didn’t matter that it was missing something important, it was just happy to BE . . .

Many times, we get frustrated with life. There are so many reasons to be down – work, friends, goals. But we have to remember the lesson of the three-legged dog . . . things may not always work out the way we plan. And there may be bumps along the way. But, we just have to PAUSE and be happy. Be happy to be, be happy to see, be happy to just be ALIVE.

Today, walking along the beach, I saw another three-legged dog. And its smile was just as big . . .


No comments: